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What should the NHL do about head shots in hockey?
Thu, March 10, 2011

The NHL is on the hot seat while trying to find a solution to cut down on the number of concussions and bring more respect to the game.

The latest incident, involving Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara taking out Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty into a padded arena stanchion, has players, fans and sponsors up in arms over the NHL's decision not to level a suspension and/or fine for the dangerous play.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, the NHL's poster boy, hasn't played in more than two months after suffering a concussion in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.

What can the NHL do about preventing concussions in hockey? Is it up to the players to show more respect in the game? Have your say in our forum.

No suspension for Chara


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


With regards to Head Shots, Chara in particular..If that had happened anywhere else on the ice it would have been a NON incident, not even a penalty.. The problem is with the rinks!! Why is that little piece of glass there ?? Is it really necessary ? Also with the size and speed of todays players, they have physically outgrown the playing surface...Time to smarten up NHL, you want to stop a ton of injuries? Go to the European ice size and let the players play !!!!
Stefan Berstling, 2011-03-11 15:35:17

To answer the poll question, no, I don't think they'll resolve the headshot issue any time soon. The NHL Board of Governors and the league executive would be losing far too much 'entertainment value' if they did.

I've read and heard that this topic will dominate the GM meetings next week, but I feel they'll probably settle on some sort of bandaid solution.

I'm not saying I'm right, but if they really were serious about solving the headshot issue they'd have a solution in place by now.
RickL, 2011-03-11 15:28:38

One more thing, I'm not sure what Gomez was doing chirping Chara after the hit - drop the gloves or STFU Scott. Real brave getting on a guys case when you know it's unlikely you'll have to back up your words. BTW, I don't like your chances in a scrap with Chara Scott LOL
Jake, 2011-03-11 14:40:44

The hit by Chara is an arena design issue only. If the hit took place anywhere else on the rink (or in the same place for that matter), and the player didn't go down injured, there probably would have been a 2 minute interference call - end of story.

Air Canada has every right to act irrationally, but both they and the Montreal police are sticking their noses where they don't belong. And don't get me started on MP's weighing in - Harper said it's unfortunate, he hopes the NHL can deal appropriately with it, and MP's shouldn't be involved. Well done Mr. Harper.

If the Quebec government has a labour safety wing, it should be going after the Montreal Canadiens organization or the arena owner for providing an unsafe workplace.
Jake, 2011-03-11 11:32:01

Head shots need to go, but Air Canada should stick to improving it's service as it sucks. It is one of the worst airlines in the world, right behind Somolia Air Freight
SaF, 2011-03-11 06:45:35

First, let me say - I am a Habs fan.

Second, Air Canada and any other sponsors are correct in pressuring the NHL to strongly deal with headshots. They want to have a clean image and their associates to do so.

Third, While Chara was clearly finishing a check, it's difficult to prove the he had a conscious intent to injure. The NHL is not a court of law.

That said: Chara had slashed Pacioretty behind the legs the previous game, and the bad blood spill over with Boston talking and dishing out smack after Pacioretty scored the winner a couple games ago , then checking Chara cannot be dismissed.

Had the NHL wished to police the problems building between the 2 teams they should have fined and warned both teams after the Boston game... or

...Before the game on Tuesday the NHL should have warned both teams to play hockey and suggested consequences otherwise.

Fourth, The NHL and the teams invest so much money in every other facet of their operations, why not find a way to get rid of the stanchions ? That is a no brainer and should have been done long ago. It's not the first time that intent to injure is questioned because of a player taken out at those points on the ice.

Last, after the Crosby concussion I wrote that NHL players have little respect for each other after lacing up their skates and getting on the ice; everyone from the head office down to the players talks the same crap.

The NHLPA has been a joke protecting aggressor's paychecks while doing squat for victims, so too the NHL brass who are - out of touch with the on ice reality - and claim there is nothing wrong and they can fix or police themselves. They have done


It may be time that sponsors and legal actions be taken to force changes to the glass, and everyone in the NHL to change.

Don't take hitting out of the game. But fix the issues:

1- The NHL should fire Campbell and Murphy and bring in an unbiased 4 man team of people who have played and reffed to the junior level who will review plays, and rules - then apply fines and suspensions regardless of player or team status within the league.

2- The player's on ice respect by heavy fines and suspensions for headshots and cheapshots.

3- Team management to help police by heavy fines.

4- Strict officiating including fining refs - who have a bad game.

5- Fix the stanchion issue in all rinks.

This assessment and suggestion list won't take hitting or fighting out of the game, it will clean the game up and make it safer for all.

Max, I hope you recover 100% and we see you back on the ice soon.
From The Cheap Seats, 2011-03-11 06:41:09

It;s not about Chara, its about the goons who have no talent taking

gout Crosby and other real hockey players. US driven expansion (Betman the Pig) has taken this game , OUR GAME to the lowest level of all, i.e WWE Hockey. Just watch an Olympic game where only the best players go at it.... none of this crap of trying to kill the other teams best players.

Hockey is Canada's game and people like Betman do not belong. The only way to get rid of the killing is to downsize the NHL to a number of teams where the goons do not have jobs. Too bad for the Betman foundation, but i REMEMEBR THE 6 TEAM NHL and the level of hockey now is so low that it hurts to watch a LEafs .Sens game..execpt for the fights of course.

Betrman has to go and several US baesed teams have to go with him. Only then can we play this game without the intention to kill.

M. Canuck
M. Canuck, 2011-03-11 02:35:14

The time has come for the NHL to end the BS about headshots. They do not make the game better they end careers. I hope other major sponsers of the NHL join Air Canada in their concerns as all the Board of Goveners cares about is profit. A hit to their pocketbook might get them to listen.
Michael, 2011-03-10 22:57:12

I have seen several similar injuries but not as severe as a result of a player running into the stanchion at the players bench where there is no glass.I could never figure out why this area isn't padded,it wouldn't cost much to do,and it would prevent or at least reduce injuries.Come on NHL this isn't rocket science.
john, 2011-03-10 21:48:29

Canadians fans are traditionally whining ass babies.Chara's hit was clean grow up you morons.
Geoff, 2011-03-10 21:20:17

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